If you've managed to choose the perfect pooch and are bringing home a little bundle of joy of the furry variety, congratulations! Bringing a new doggo home is like adding a new member to your family. You're in for years of cuddles, play and, of course, a few mishaps along the way.
It's well known that while puppies are loads of fun, they require a lot of work to train. Getting in early and teaching your new furry friend good habits from day one will save you a lot of time and accidents in the future.
To help you out on your new journey of being a new pup parent, we've put together a list of the six most helpful habits to teach your new pup - along with a few tips on what to do if it all goes a little sideways!
1. Basic Obedience Training
Starting off on the right foot here with good, basic obedience will make the rest of your training an absolute breeze. We'd recommend making sure that you buy plenty of dog-safe toys to chew, pet treats to reinforce good behaviour with and a good-quality leash. This way, your little pup is well equipped to learn good habits as soon as they get home.
At a glance, here's what we'd recommend working on:
- Stop your jumping pooch: this one's hard to do, because we know how adorable it is when your pup is super excited to see you walk in the door. Start by not making any big gestures or enthusiastic noises - the more of these your pup hears, the more likely he is to continue to jump. Toss a treat or toy on the floor and get down to your dog's level.
- Sit: teaching your dog to sit is the go-to command to learn first. Grab a treat and hold it just above his nose and repeat the cue word, "sit" in a clear tone. Naturally, after a few goes, most dogs will sit down. Always remember to reward your clever pup with a treat to reinforce the good behaviour.
- Good chewing habits: pups love to chew, it's inevitable. If they don't have enough toys, they'll go for the nearest readily available piece of furniture or shoe. If you catch your pup chewing the wrong thing, distract them with a water spray bottle, and send them to their nearest toy - they'll pick this up pretty quickly.
2. Crate Training
While you should never keep your puppy confined for more than a few hours, it is important that your pup doesn't have free reign over the whole house while you're not there to supervise. Having an indoor crate or cage is an excellent way of doing this. Getting your dog used to small spaces is also a good trick if you ever need to take them to the vet or on a road trip!
Introducing your puppy to an indoor bed in a crate has the bonus side effect of helping to house train your puppy. Dogs are unlikely to relieve themselves in the same space they sleep. If you make sure your puppy is comfortable in his crate from a young age while you're out of the house, you may just find you put a stop to coming home to find puddles.
Of course, even the most crate-comfortable puppy needs a clean and comfortable bed to sleep in. Make sure your puppies bed is maintained with a regular, thorough clean. All of our Rug Doctor products are animal safe, so check out our range before cleaning your pup's bed.
Getting your puppy familiar with both its new family and other animals is really important in the first twelve weeks, especially. As a puppy, they'll be pretty confident to interact with anyone and anything without fear. After the twelve-week mark, adult dogs are usually apprehensive to meet anything they haven't yet encountered. So get introducing!
While it's a good idea to make sure your puppy has lots of social interactions, it's also equally important ensure they're comfortable. Ask people to crouch down to meet your new dog, and if you're bringing it around other animals, stay with your puppy and let them know it's safe.
The more positive interactions, the more social the dog will be!
Imagine how bored you would feel if you never got to leave your front doorstep. Even if you have a big backyard, make sure you take your new puppy out for regular walks every day - or you might just lose your favourite slippers.
This is also an excellent way to introduce routine into your puppy's life. Just like children, dogs need a routine they can follow to help them learn good behaviour. If you can get your pup out and about at the same time every day, they'll be better for it.
5. House Training
The most important of them all...
Getting your new puppy house trained can prove to be the most difficult learning challenge. If you've already put our first four tips into play, you're well on your way!
If you're new to housetraining - here are our key pointers.
- Feed your dog it's meals at the same time every day and encourage routine.
- Take your dog outside to pee first thing in the morning, every time they eat and after naps.
- When you take your dog outside, take them to the same spot. Their scent will encourage them to go.
- When all is said and done, praise your dog with treats and attention - they'll love the encouragement!
Every now and again, even the most well-behaved and house-trained puppy will slip up. Never fear, you don't have to replace your brand new shaggy rug or reupholster the furniture. Our Rug Doctor treatment can be used to remove even the most difficult animal stains off carpet, rugs and upholstery, as long as you act fast!
If it's just a little stain, we've got you covered. Download our FREE stain guide below, and you'll know what to do every time, as your puppy grows up.
Make sure to also check out our Ultimate Guide to Owning a Pet: Everything you need to know.